BathCamp – a BarCamp in Bath

September has been ridiculously busy both at work and in Real Life™ and now it’s time to play catchup and tell you, dear readers, what I’ve been up to.

First of all, skip back a few weeks and I went down to Bath for another BarCamp.

BarCamp is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from participants.

I’d already been to BarCamps in Leeds and Newcastle (BarCamp North East) but BathCamp seemed set to be a little different.  The idea of running a BarCamp in Bath was originally thought up by a bunch of Museums type people but after the initial idea, the event diversified a lot to include the wider geek community.  There were still a lot of museums and Higher Education people there, which was great – at other BarCamps I’ve been pretty much the only person from HE – but not so many to disturb the balance.

An early start on Saturday morning to drive down to Bath got me to Invention Studios before most people had arrived.  There was the usual scramble to get a slot – I bravely went for the after lunch session.

A brief summary of some of the sessions (thanks to Tim Beadle via Jack Martin Leith for the names):

  • Giles Turnbull: Why Web Advertising Sucks.  Great talk about how web advertising is different to print and a lot of people haven’t worked out how it works yet.
  • Brian Kelly: Time to start thinking.  Slides with a black background and no UKOLN logo – what’s going on here!
  • Tim Beadle: Techies are from Mars, Marketers are from Venus.  Interesting to hear a bunch of geeks talk about how marketing don’t understand but quite a lot of willingness to enagage, which is good.
  • Laura Dewis: Disrupting the University: Social Learning.  Intersting to see what’s going on at the OU.  I’m not always sure the cool stuff they’re doing makes it to the front line all that quickly (based on what I’ve heard a few students saying) but they really push the boundaries.
  • Mike Nolan: Learn to juggle/drop balls.  Not sure the people downstairs appreciated the constant thuds of people dropping balls but I enjoyed leading the session.  Some people picked it up really well, others could do with practicing a little longer!
  • Rick Hurst: The Gurgitator.  Crazy way of scaffolding a web application using any framework from a standardised configuration.  Not sure I’d use it but interesting to see!
  • Ian Ibbotson: Opening up academic publishing
  • Drew Jones / Stuart Lowes: sfImageTransform: an image-manipulation
    plugin for Symfony
    . sfThumbnailPlugin on steroids.  A bit like WideImage but more extendible and more symfony-like.  Release is due soon so worth keeping an eye out for.
  • Mark Ng: Delicious Pecha Kucha. 20 seconds to talk about each of your last 10 delicious bookmarks.

In the evening there was a pub tub quiz before decamping to a bar in a former railway station.  Sunday had a few more sessions.  Overall there was a really friendly atmosphere at BathCamp making it my favourite BarCamp so far.  Many thanks to the organisers and sponsors for making a great weekend.

2 replies on “BathCamp – a BarCamp in Bath”

  1. Love my job, Love my weekends – can’t ever see them meeting though!

    Seriously, i’ve been watching the barcamp thing for a while from the sidelines, wondering how the ‘library’ world can get involved. In comes Owen Stephens from LSE who has organised the first library mashup supported by UKOLN, and in work time (even better).. Think it may be a bit too geeky for me, but I’ll never know if I don’t go! Will report back…

    http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/events/mashed-library-2008/

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